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Feb 20, 2013

Windows RT Jailbreak Tool 1.13a

A new version of the popular Windows RT jailbreak tool is now available for download, as XDA developers updated the software to work with the latest Microsoft fixes.

While version 1.13a only brings minor tweaks to “return from the hook in a way that seems more robust,” according to user Netham45, the 1.12a release is a lot more important, as it makes the jailbreak possible even after applying the new updates released by Microsoft on Patch Tuesday.

In addition, the 1.13 build brings “ability to dynamically get the signing level. It now requires internet on the first launch, and after an update changes ntoskrnl.exe.” Surprisingly, jailbreaking Windows RT platforms is still possible these days, even though Microsoft hinted more than one month ago that it could block further attempts sometime in the near future.

The jailbreak allows users to run unsigned code on Windows RT tablets
Image credits to Microsoft

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900 Cost 3,999 Yuan ($640/€478) in China

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900, the Intel-powered smartphone that was made official at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in early January, is expected to become available for purchase in China with a price tag of 3,999 Yuan ($640 / €478) attached to it.

The handset is expected to become available for purchase in the country later this year, and will be the first Intel-based Android there, it seems. Lenovo K900 will hit shelves with a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display, the aforementioned Intel Z2580 2GHz processor inside, 2GB of RAM, an SGX 544MP2 GPU, and 16GB of internal memory.

The smartphone also features a 13-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with support for full HD video recording, as well as a front camera to enable video calling. It will run under Android 4.2 Jelly Bean from the start.

Lenovo IdeaPhone K900
Image credits to Lenovo

Xiaomi Launch MI2A and Mi3 This Year

Two new Xiaomi handsets are expected to become official before the end of this year, the latest reports on the matter suggest, with one of them being none other than the long rumored Xiaomi Mi3, supposedly set to be announced on August 16.

The handset is expected to land on shelves sometime in October with a 5.5-inch display and a metallic rear case, as gizchina notes in a recent post. Before that, however, there might be another Xiaomi device set to become official, namely the Xiaomi MI2A, which is currently expected to be unveiled in May.

The smartphone is rumored to sport a 5-inch 1080p touchscreen display, yet nothing has been officially confirmed on the matter as of now. Given the wide range of rumors on Xiaomi’s plans for the smartphone market, we could expect at least some of them to pan out.

Xiaomi Mi3
Image credits to GizChina

CyanogenMod 10.1 Adds HDR Camera Mode

A new highly appealing feature has been added in the latest CyanogenMod 10.1 builds out there, namely support for “HDR” mode for the stock CM 10.1 camera.

Courtesy of the new functionality, a phone’s camera will shoot 3 pictures, one at minimal exposure, one at neutral, and another one at maximum exposure, and then combine them in a single shot. “As with the stock HDR functions available on the Nexus 4, our HDR mode captures multiple pictures, and then renders them together to form one HDR image,” the team explains.

However, given the fact that cameras inside smartphones function differently, the CM team warns users that they should use a stand when enabling the HDR function, as it is very sensible to movement and vibration. The quality of these images might be poor on devices with low cameras, the team also explains.

HDR camera mode comes to CyanogenMod
Image credits to CyanigenMod

New Gigabyte Thin Mini-ITX Motherboards

Intel has something called the AIO PC specification, which defines what type of hardware can be used in such computers. Gigabyte isn't exactly trying to adhere to the guidelines.

And by that we mean to say that it has decided to go a step further when it made the newest mini-ITX motherboards called H77TN and B75TN. While their width and length are normal for their form factor, they are much thinner than usual, by 43% in fact.  The exact size is 17cm x 17cm x 2.5cm / 175 x 175 x 25 mm / 6.88 x 6.88 x 0.98 inches. Even so, they pack all the specifications that their kind need, from processor and memory to storage and connectivity capabilities. GA-H77TN, for example, relies on the Intel H77 Express Chipset and supports Core i7, i5 and i3 CPUs, with the provision that the TDP (thermal design power) be no higher than 77W. It also has HDMI, DisplayPort and LVDS video outputs, as well as 7.1-channel audio, a PCI Express x4 slot, a mini PCI Express slot, two SATA 6 Gbps connectors, two 3 Gbps ports, an mSATA connector and even RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 technology.

The GA-B75TN is similar in many ways, from the CPU support to Gigabit Ethernet and everything else mentioned above. “GIGABYTE’s Thin Mini-ITX motherboards underline our commitment to the desktop PC market and cement our leadership position in the high growth AIO segment,” commented Henry Kao, vice president of GIGABYTE motherboard business unit. “By embracing new form factors like Thin Mini-ITX, GIGABYTE is enabling continued innovation in desktop PC design while also opening doors to market segments, such as industrial PCs, that we have not traditionally serviced.” To teach people everything about its mini-ITX platforms, and how to build their own all-in-one PC, Gigabyte has set up this special web page.

Gigabyte AiO hardware

HTC Won’t Bring Zoe to Windows Phones

HTC One, the latest flagship Android-based smartphone from the Taiwanese mobile phone maker, comes to the market with some new technologies packed inside, including one called Zoe, which is meant to enable users to snap motion pictures with the phone’s camera.

HTC One also sports an UltraPixel camera sensor which, combined with the new Zoe functionality, is meant to provide users with a much better imaging experience than before. However, it appears that the handset vendor won’t bring the functionality to its Windows Phone lineup, at least this is what a new post on Pocket-lint suggests. 

The info reportedly comes from Symon Whitehorn, HTC's camera expert, who claims that the Windows Phone camera kernel does not allow for Zoe to be ported to the platform. “We are equally committed to the Windows platform, so we will do what we can,” Whitehorn also said.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC
Image credits to HTC

Samsung Galaxy S IV Might Brings Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core CPU

It appears that Samsung is so impressed by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 600 chipset that it is willing to drop its Exynos 5 Octa processor that was supposed to power the upcoming Galaxy S IV.

The folks over at Techkiddy have been able to learn via Korean blog DT.co.kr that Samsung Galaxy S IV is likely to be equipped with a Qualcomm chipset. Although the source of the information does not name a specific Qualcomm chipset, it can only be the new Snapdragon 600 chipset featuring Krait 300 architecture.  Obviously, we should take the information with a grain of salt until more sources confirm it, but given the fact it comes from Samsung’s own country there must be some truth in it.

HTC One is likely to be the first handset to come equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, followed soon by LG Optimus G Pro and possibly the Galaxy S IV. Stay tuned for more updates on this one.

Samsung Galaxy S IV logo
Image credits to Samsung

NVIDIA Chimera, New Technology for Photography

With all the hubbub raised by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan graphics card and the Tegra 4i, the Chimera technology didn't get much attention yesterday (February 19, 2013), but there wasn't much chance of the world glossing over it.

Chimera is a rather odd case as far as NVIDIA's technology portfolio is concerned. While the company normally deals in processors, Chimera is a Computational Photography Architecture. Basically, it gives Tegra 4-based devices the ability to edit pictures and videos in ways that was not possible before, not without special equipment. For example, tablets and smartphones based on the platform are now able to take wide-angle or “fish-eye” shots, even though, normally, this would need an expensive digital single-lens reflex camera. A scene can be captured by moving the camera up and down, or to the side, diagonally even. The panorama is essentially painted in real time, from many angles and in any order. A great advantage over other wide-angle shots that take up to 35 seconds and need to be moved in one direction horizontally.

Another thing that Chimera allows for is the capture of high-quality, HDR images similar to how the human eye sees the world: from various places and lighting conditions. Then there is the persistent tap-to-track technology, which lets users touch an image of a person or object and focus on it within a scene. The camera then locks on that subject and maintains proper focus on it, even if the camera is repositioned or angled. Underexposure and overexposure of the image subject or the background are avoided as well. Both Tegra 4 (tablet platform) and the Tegra 4i smartphone chip (which has only now been launched) possess Chimera Computational Photography Architecture.

“NVIDIA’s Chimera architecture takes mobile imaging far beyond what consumers have come to expect from the phones and tablets,” said Brian Cabral, vice president of Computation Imaging at NVIDIA.  “Capabilities that until now have been reserved for professional photographers – like instant HDR and HDR panoramic shots and flawless image tracking – are now within easy reach for the rest of us.”

NVIDIA Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i
Image credits to NVIDIA

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